These Guys Love ‘My Little Pony.’ You Got a Problem With That?

What, you thought it was just for little girls? How wrong you are. Plenty of boys and men who are fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic showed up last weekend at a convention in New Jersey to express their admiration for the cartoon TV show and its message of friendship, love, and tolerance.

They know it can appear weird to some, but these male fans, known as “Bronies,” are not ashamed, and why should they be? In fact, they’re proud to like a show with such a positive message. Among the 4,000 attendees of “BronyCon Summer 2012″ they had a chance to bond with fellow fans, male and female — and maybe even change some perceptions about gender lines in American society.

If you remember the original line of popular Hasbro toys from the 1980s and the animated specials and TV show it inspired, you may be skeptical as to why grown men would be into it. But that was then, this is now. My Little Pony has greatly expanded its demographic with the Friendship Is Magic series, which debuted in 2010. The show features more in-depth characters, better storylines, and themes that appeal to older viewers, and that is partly by design.

Animator and show creator Lauren Faust is surprised but delighted she’s drawn in a male audience, and thinks it’s a shame that society views it as “creepy” or “stupid” for grown men to like a show aimed at little girls.

“I think that’s awful and I think that kind of attitude needs to be changed,” Faust told Associated Press. “And these men are doing it. … They’re proud that they’re forward-thinking and modern enough to look past this misogynistic attitude.”

Well said. After all, it’s okay for girls to like what boys like — say, sports or horror movies or shoot ‘em up video games. There are far creepier things in the world than liking a show that encourages people to be friends and work out their differences. If a 25-year-old man wants to dress up as Rainbow Dash or Pinkie Pie, why shouldn’t he?

©Theo Tattinger 2012

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